Linseed & flax (Linum usitatissimum) have been important crops for oil and for fibre.

Linseed is a small, brown seed that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. It is often ground into a powder and used as a dietary supplement or added to foods as a source of fiber and nutrition.

Linseed is also used as an oilseed crop and the oil extracted from the seeds is used as a drying oil in paints, varnishes, and linoleum. The residue left over after the oil is extracted is known as linseed meal and is used as a feed supplement for livestock.

Flax is grown for its fibres, which can be used to make linen. Flax fibers are strong, lustrous, and absorbent, making them ideal for use in textiles, paper, and other products

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Get involved in trials growing flax for textiles

Would you like to join other farmers and growers, researchers and textile students interested in revitalising local textile production in Scotland and the north of England?

Farmers and growers are invited to join an Innovative Farmers field lab to trial growing several flax varieties on a small-plot scale and do simple yield and soil tests.

Email [email protected] by 12th January if you're interested.


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The major commodity crops in the UK are wheat, barley, oilseed rape, field beans, sugar beet and potatoes, but around half of agricultural land grows grass.   

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Fibre can be produced from animal and crop agricultural products.  Hemp & flax are traditionally important fibre crops in the UK.   

This field lab involves growers who are part of an emerging network aiming to re-establish a regenerative textile (particularly linen) supply chain in the UK, with a particular focus in Scotland. The trial’s main objectives are to ascertain how well flax grows in a range of soil types, measured by crop establishment and yield; and to compare the performance of 3 varieties in a range of soil types. The secondary objectives are to explore factors which may influence the retting process (e.g. time retted, number of turnings, weather); and to compare the fibre quality of 3 varieties.

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